Opera Fusion: New Works

Opera Fusion: New Works
 is a program whose goal is to contribute to the vitality of opera in North America through the development and production of new operatic works. Funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works offers composers or composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency.

Previous Projects:
DOUBT (November 3-13, 2011) by composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley. The opera was commissioned by Minnesota Opera and received its world premiere there on January 26, 2013. Learn more here.

CHAMPION (October 18-28, 2012) by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer. Champion was co-commissioned by Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Jazz St. Louis, and the world premiere took place on June 15, 2013.

MORNING STAR (November 26-December 5, 2012) by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist William M. Hoffman. Morning Star had its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera on June 30, 2015. Learn more here.

FELLOW TRAVELERS (November 17-26, 2013) by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce. Fellow Travelers will have its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera on June 17, 2016. Learn more here.

GREAT SCOTT (November 17-25, 2014) by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally. Great Scott was commissioned by The Dallas Opera and had its world premiere there on October 30, 2015. Learn more here.

Gregory Spears
Libretto by Greg Pierce
Gregory Spears
Libretto by Greg Pierce

MEET JOHN DOE (January 21-31, 2015) by Daniel Catán. Learn more here.

SHALIMAR THE CLOWN (October 7-17, 2015) by composer Jack Perla and librettist Rajiv Joseph. Shalimar the Clown was commissioned by Opera Theatre of St. Louis and will have its world premiere there on June 11, 2016. Learn more here.

SOME LIGHT EMERGES (September 18-22, 2016) by composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. The opera is commissioned by HGOco, Houston Grand Opera’s community collaboration and education initiative, and will have its world premiere there in March 2017. Learn more here.

INTIMATE APPAREL (November 5-14, 2016) by composer Ricky Ian Gordon and librettist Lynn Nottage. The opera was commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera/Lincoln Center Theater’s New Works Program. Learn more here.

The program is a collaboration between Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Opera program, building on a successful four-year partnership through The Corbett Foundation Opera Fusion Program. The co-artistic directors of Opera Fusion: New Works are Marcus Küchle, Director of Artistic Operations of Cincinnati Opera, and Robin Guarino, J. Ralph Corbett Chair of CCM Opera.

Opera Fusion: New Works welcomes applications for new operatic works at various stages of development, but focuses on work that is ready to be explored musically and dramatically in a well-funded and conducive environment. Works are reviewed and selected by the co-artistic directors in tandem with an advisory board made up of artists and professionals from the world of opera and theater.

The Opera Fusion: New Works workshops take place at both Cincinnati Opera and CCM Opera locations. Both organizations are equipped with state-of-the art facilities, well-designed and spacious rehearsal rooms, private studios, and performance venues. Performers are cast from CCM Opera and the University of Cincinnati’s OMDA (Opera, Musical Theater, Drama, Theater Design & Production and Arts Administration) Division, one of the foremost opera and theater training programs in North America, in addition to casting professional singers as necessary. Cincinnati Opera provides administrative and logistical support. The composer or composer/librettist team receives an honorarium and per diem, as well as round-trip transportation and accommodations for the duration of the workshop.

The goal of Opera Fusion: New Works is to provide an environment where the composer or composer/librettist team can focus on the development of their work. The residency environment is designed to be inspiring and collaborative, and encourage exploration, innovation, and artistic growth. To that end, all workshops are presented as “readings.” Video recordings will be made at different times throughout the workshop to document the process. The composer or composer/librettist team is provided with the following human resources to support the workshop and artistic process: music director, stage director, dramaturg, stage manager, workshop coordinator, 7-10 principal singers, and two pianists. In the case of choral writing, every effort will be made to provide at least an SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) ensemble to represent the vocal parts. At the conclusion of the 10-day workshop, there will be a final reading at which a professional audio/visual recording will be made as an archive, developmental resource, and promotional tool. The invited audience will include professionals from the field, representatives from opera companies, and potential co-producers, in addition to the advisory panel, as available. The residency will conclude with a “next steps” meeting with the composer or composer/librettist team and co-artistic directors. In select cases, a piece may be invited to return for a second developmental workshop the following year.